What Do Squirrels Eat? Fascinating Truth You Must Know

Squirrels can be the bane of a gardener’s life. They are a tricky pest, and squirrels aren’t always the pickiest creatures. In fact, most squirrels can find something anywhere that they enjoy.

If you are struggling with a squirrel problem in your garden, you can try to offer different choices that may appeal to the pests.


Squirrels Natural Food Choices

Various Nuts

Squirrels are scavengers and will eat nearly anything if they have the chance. They know they need to eat foods that will give them the vitamins and minerals they need to avoid diseases and sustain life.

Other than that, all they care about is finding some delicious snack. You can see squirrels trying a variety of food in this video.

In nature, squirrels do prefer nuts and seeds, if they can find them. However, they aren’t available at all times of the year. Squirrels will also eat bark, twigs, leaves and other parts of woody plants. They have even been known to eat eggs found in bushes! Insects and animal bones provide essential calcium into their diet.

Snacks in Your Garden

Squirrel Eating Seeds

Your garden can seem like a snack bar for a hungry squirrel. Instead of needing to hunt for nuts and seeds, it is like a grocery store of vegetables. Hungry squirrels love the tops of vegetables and fruit bushes.

Squirrels love bird feeders. Instead of your birds devouring all of your bird seed, all of the local squirrels sneak away with the delicious treats, leaving nothing for the lovely birds. These pests enjoy more than just your vegetable plants.

Ground squirrels love to eat things like your sprinklers, garden hose lines, and more. They are pesky creatures that have the ability to eat nearly anything due to their sharp teeth and powerful jaws.

While squirrels are adorable, they love to bury extra food everywhere. Anywhere could be your garden, especially during the winter. Squirrels are active almost all year round. They will hide nuts in your garden soil, but they also will dig up fresh bulbs that you might have planted in the spring time. Flower bulbs are delicious snacks for squirrels as well!

Food to Leave Out for Squirrels

The Boy Feeds A Squirrel With Nutlets

So, you want to get these pesky creatures out of your garden. One of the best ways to save your garden is to leave out foods that attract squirrels. The first obvious choice is nuts and seeds. Sunflower seeds and peanuts are treats, but they shouldn’t be left out frequently because they aren’t a healthy choice.

That might be shocking because peanuts seem to be the obvious choice. However, they could contain mold that is toxic to their very life. There are healthy alternatives to peanuts such as hazelnuts.

Walnuts and hickory nuts are a favorite as well, and they don’t contain toxins that could kill the beautiful squirrels. They might be annoying, but they serve a great purpose!

Nuts might be their favorite snack, but squirrels do require vegetables to maintain a healthy diet. If you want the squirrels to steer clear of your veggie garden, you could try leaving out a platter of appealing fruits and veggies.

Apples, peas, grapes, broccoli, squash, cracked corn, and watermelon are favorite choices. Leave out less fruit though because it reduces a squirrel’s absorb to absorb calcium.

Why Do They Love Nuts?

Squirrel Eating Nuts From Hand

Movies and books encourage the notion of squirrels eating nuts. While it is a cute depiction, there are more reasons. Nuts are beneficial because they provide a much-needing chewing exercise. They also contain natural sources of protein and essential fatty acids, important parts of a squirrel’s diet.

If you do want to leave out nuts, another option to try is a squirrel nut ball. A squirrel nutritionist developed the recipe, and it is a super vitamin supplement just for squirrels. Typically, they are fed just to squirrels in captivity, but you could try to leave me out for the pest in your garden.

Other Ways to Protect Your Garden


If leaving treats out doesn’t work, you might want to try a barrier to protect your garden. Hexagon chicken wire will stop most hungry squirrels.

You might want to make sure the material covers all of the important vegetables in your garden. It has to cover the top; squirrels can jump and climb anything!


If you want to stop annoying squirrels from destroying your lovely garden, it is important to understand what do squirrels eat.

You can try leaving out different food options to steer them away from your garden. What hungry squirrel will pass up a nut ball or tray full of their favorite seeds? None!

You also could try a barrier method. If leaving out snacks for them doesn’t stop squirrels, chicken wire placed over the top of your garden is the best solution. It stops even the most active squirrel scavenger.

Have you had squirrel issues in your garden? If so, let us know how you solved the issue. Don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful!

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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